Distrib to allow downloads through Netflix

IFC Entertainment and Netflix have struck a streaming partnership that gives the online movie rental service U.S. rights to 53 indie films. The IFC titles become available for streaming on televisions and computers today. Additional titles will be added on an ongoing basis.

Among the initial batch are seminal indies such as John Sayles’ “Return of the Secaucus Seven” and Errol Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line”; Susanne Bier’s “Brothers” (the original Danish pic on which the upcoming Jim Sheridan remake is based) and rare titles like Christopher Nolan’s debut feature, “Following,” are also in the Netflix package.

Netflix has more than 11 million subscribers. Its unlimited service ($8.99 a month) allows subscribers to receive DVD rentals through the mail as well as through digital streaming.

For IFC, the deal expands the distrib’s title offerings through Netflix from the physical rental service to digital delivery.

“It’s our first foray into subscription streaming,” said Lisa Schwartz, IFC’s exec VP, who negotiated the deal with Netflix veep of content acquisition Robert Kyncl.

IFC has previously placed films from its 300-title library on transactional downloading services such as iTunes, Blockbuster and Amazon.

Netflix launched its computer streaming service in January 2007. Its members can currently stream 17,000 films and TV episodes on a computer or TV through Netflix-ready devices.

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